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VM Recipe: How to build an interpreter VM on Linux
Last updated at 2:13 pm UTC on 24 April 2017
From the vm-dev list: http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/vm-dev/2015-April/018259.html by Dave Lewis. These instructions are current as of June 2016. For additional information on generating a VM from the Smalltalk VM source code, see How to build a standard VM with Squeak on Linux.

The shell script for the build instructions below is mkvm

How to build an interpreter VM (1) from source on a typical Linux or Unix system:

Tools needed

Install development tools for your Linux system (32-bit libraries are not required).

Install CMake, either from your Linux distribution or from www.cmake.org.

Install Subversion, either from your Linux distribution or from https://subversion.apache.org/.

If you also want to make a Debian install package, install the checkinstall utility.


Make a new, empty, directory for your work.

In that directory, download the full platforms sources from the Subversion
repository. Download everything, whether you need it or not. The Subversion
directory information will be used in the build process, so do not cut
corners to save space.

   $ svn co http://squeakvm.org/svn/squeak/trunk/platforms

Also in the new directory, download the generated sources. This is an up to
date copy of source files generated from the Smalltalk source code in VMMaker.
You can generate them yourself by loading VMMaker, but using the files from
the Subversion repository is a faster way to get started.

   $ svn co http://squeakvm.org/svn/squeak/trunk/src

You will now have ./platforms and ./src directories with the latest source
code for the VM. Make another subdirectory called ./build that you will
use to build the VM.

   $ mkdir build

Change to the build directory.

   $ cd build

Copy the example Makefile into your build directory.

   $ cp ../platforms/unix/cmake/Makefile.example Makefile

This Makefile will install the executable in /usr/local/bin and plugins in /usr/local/lib and will require sudo permissions to install them. If you wish to install them, say in $HOME/squeak, instead of /usr/local add –prefix="$HOME/squeak" to each configure command :

   ../../platforms/unix/cmake/configure –src=../../src –prefix="${HOME}/squeak" ${CFLAGS_PARAM}

Build the VM

   $ make

Install the VM

   $ sudo make install

Create a Debian package

   $ sudo make deb


You now have a VM that runs that classic Squeak image formats, including
the 64-bit version (see http://build.squeak.org/job/Squeak%2064-bit%20image/).

(1) This is a traditional context interpreter VM. It will not run the latest
high performance Spur image formats. Please refer to the Cog and Spur VM
development at http://www.mirandabanda.org/cogblog/ and
http://www.mirandabanda.org/files/Cog/VM/ for the latest Cog and Spur
VM development, and for VMs that support the new Spur image formats.